Oscar Sudi is living his dream, loyal to the bone
Oscar Sudi bears unmistakable resemblance with his political mentor, Deputy President William Ruto.
Whenever he is on the mic, the Kapseret MP stages a Ruto incarnate show, except that the DP is still around. His torso juts forward, his biceps almost forming and painting a picture of a man in perpetual war.
Whenever he is about to hit the bull’s eye, he feigns a scratch on the left temple of his head, then delivers the blow. Twitching his right hand, sometimes ominously, you would think he is addressing a massive political rally, only that it is a presser.
In the manner of his speech, Sudi has replicated Ruto’s habit of stretching his words, biting lips in between toxic points, throwing rhetorical questions to the audience but added a feature of his own -- snapping his tongue to express displeasure.
“Wanang’ang’anaaaaa…. Sasa weweeee…. Kiingereza miiingi… hio haapanaaa… namna hii namna hiii… ama namna gani?”
In essence, the man is living his Ruto dream, live! Loyal to the bone, Sudi can bite the sky for the DP if that is what it were to take to defend him from enemies.
His knack for taking on anyone or anything standing in the way of the DP’s political ambitions is out of this world. And the way he doles it out is unique to himself -- ruthlessness, uncivil, unmeasured, and unbound.
You only need to listen to a recent clip where he cannibalised his own Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju, calling him a scrape of a man. The attack left little to imagine about Sudi’s claim to political courtesy.
An archetypal hustler, Sudi’s story is a script out of Ruto’s page except that his education credentials are a rumour of sorts. He in fact describes himself as a hero for conquering his repugnant past.
Nobody can stop me
Born in 1980 of squatter family -- peasant mother and father -- Sudi scraped his way up doing odd jobs like delivering charcoal, doing groceries and touting until lady luck began to smile on him at the turn of the millennium.
By the year 2000 when he was turning 20, he had bought hisfirst car, a Peugeot 504 matatu, and a few years later, he was dabbling in vehicle dealership and interacting with powerful business and political heavyweights in Eldoret.
“I have come from far and I am going far.. nobody can stop me!” he once quipped in the face of adversity.
He honed his political skills by supporting David Koros for the Eldoret South seat in 2002 and Peris Simam in 2007 for the same seat. In both instances, he was dropped like a hot potato after their respective victories.
Then in 2013, it appears, he got tired of supporting others and tossed himself into the fray. He easily won the Kapseret seat and immediately began to grow notoriety in national politics.
When in 2014 he was roughed up by a traffic cop, Sudiblocked the Nakuru-Eldoret highway with his vehicle in Cheptiret. His supporters descended on the road and held traffic captive for hours despite pleas by area security leadership.
Through his antics, he seems to have warmed up his way into Ruto’s heart. During the DP’s tribulations at the ICC in The Hague, and apart from his (Ruto’s) family, Sudi was among the few constants on the side of the DP. Braving the cold Hague weather to attend almost every single court sitting, Sudi occasionally snored inside the courtroom -- tired, emotionally worn out and probably unable to catch up with the arguments.
Heavily dressed, he was always at hand, alongside CS Charles Keter, to hug the DP on his way to and from the courtroom. With the Hague matter settled, Sudi set to transform himself into a formidable Ruto attack dog.
Restraint became a distant rumour in his politics. The more people he took head-on the more he grew bolder and reckless. When they tried to slam breaks on him through a court case challenging the authenticity of his academic credentials, he shifted gears.
Cleverly embracing his illiterate self but also standing up to the charges against him, Sudi shifted the debate to the raucous but usually clueless mobs who throng political rallies.
“Do I look like an illiterate? Even when you look at me, do I? And when I was asking for votes in Kapseret did you hear me say that I was a professor? I begged for votes as a hustler and was elected,” he told a public event in October 2016.
In other instances, and while asserting his bogus literacy status, Sudi joked at the contradiction of an illiterate person leading literate people.
“I went to school but how and when is the issue… the fact of the matter is that I took long in school, because I was hustling in between classes. What you should perhaps ask them is which classes I missed out, morning classes or afternoon classes?” He joked of it.
He also promised his Kapseret constituents that he will not go for more than two terms as MP and that he will leave “a bigger mark than those who have all these papers”.
“Mimi na Joho tuko league moja.. siunaona ako na shida ile wanasema hatukuenda shule,” he once said of Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho while taking him on over Ruto.
He has spared no one with his tongue, not even President Uhuru Kenyatta. When the “lifestyle audit” chorus began to build after the President set it out, Sudi single handendly brought the debate to a halt with a subtle but immortal blow.
“We support you (on lifestyle audit) 100 per cent. From myself since my days as a tout and from my father’s days as a cook at Moi University up to now, and everyone else… starting with President, from Jomo himself to the President… “ That was the end of the lifestyle audit. At the peak of anti-corruption purge last year, Sudi was among the few that linked the purge to the fight against DP political ambitions. He dared the government authorities to demolish DP’s Weston Hotel.
For all his zealotry to the DP’s cause, Sudi was -- like all puppets who are first mouthed to be last swallowed -- almost dropped in the run up to the 2017 elections. Together with Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, he stood up against his party, blaming cartels around the DP’s office and daring them.
At one point he supported a Kanu candidate in a by-election to the chagrin of his boss. When the dust had settled, Sudisupplicated himself before the DP and begged for forgiveness.
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Oscar SudiDeputy President William RutoKapseret MP